14 Aug 2002

PNG's second largest hospital to scale down services despite government stepping in to avert drug sh

6:36 pm on 14 August 2002

The Chief Executive Officer of Papua New Guinea's second largest hospital in Lae says it is on the verge of closing down despite the government setting aside funds to avert a drug shortage in the province.

Margaret Samei from Angau Memorial General Hospital says services such as elective surgery need to be scaled back despite moves by the Health Department to procure drugs for the hospital.

She says the immediate future of the 4-hundred and 76 bed is grim.

"We are managing with the very very limited resources that we have, which the hospital was able to buy from local suppliers here. If we continue to do what we're doing now, we won't last long .The little funds that we have, it's running out. we will continue to maintain regular sevices now, until the drugs and supplies reach us."

Margaret Samei

Meanwhile, the Secretary of the Health Department, Dr Nicholas Mann said payments to overseas drug companies were delayed when Treasury scrapped the budget funding.

This has left container loads of drugs stranded at Lae Wharf since January because the drug companies will not release them without payment.